July 15, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, News, Photos, Spain 1,016 views

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iPhone BlogOn July 14, 2008, three days after the official international launch date, I purchased an iPhone 3G.

Click the play button below before continuing.

I went to check the iphone.movistar.es page to find the local dealers in Bilbao and Santander that were selling iPhones to call them up and check if they had any available. But to my surprise, there was a store in nearby Laredo listed! I called them up in the morning to ask if they had any iPhones and they said that a shipment was due “either this afternoon or tomorrow morning”. So I said I’d be in the next morning to buy one.

On a whim, I called them again in the afternoon and they said that they had received a shipment and that only two remained!! So I rushed upstairs, woke Marga from her afternoon siesta, and we raced to Laredo. We parked and walked briskly to the Telefonica shop.

Me: “Hi, I called about the iPhones. Do you have any left?”

Clerk: “Sorry, we don’t have any and won’t until probably September.”

Me [horrified]: “What?!? I just called and you said you had some!”

Clerk: “No, we haven’t had any had any all day.”

Me: “But! Is this not your number?” [showing her my last dialed number on my previous crappy mobile]

Clerk [not really looking]: “Sorry, but we don’t have any.”

Dismayed, I pressed dial on my mobile and spoke to the person I’d been talking to. I asked where their store was and they told me they were two blocks away. So we rushed out of the store and walked as quickly as we could to the other store, Marga laughing the whole way at my enthusiasm. Finally we got to the store that had a big “The iPhone you’ve been waiting for! Now available!” poster on it. I rushed in and the clerk immediately recognized me as the wide-eyed enthusiastic gent with the funny accent he’d been talking to on the phone.

Clerk: “There’s only one left.”

Me: “Great!”

Clerk: “It’s 8 GB. Is that okay?”

Me [visibly disappointed]: “Hmmm. I really wanted the 16 GB.”

Clerk: “They’re shipping me one tomorrow.”

Me [enthusiastic again]: “Great! What time!??”

Clerk: “Hard to say. I just sold the last 16 GB to this gentleman here.”

Other Dude: “Wait, this is 16 GB? I really wanted 8 GB, but you told me all you had was 16 GB!”

Clerk: “Oh, well, no, I can give you this other one, then.”

Me [incredible luck of the situation dawning across my face]: “Perfect!”

He told us to take a walk for 20 minutes while he finished up activating the other dude’s iPhone. We went for a walk on the beach and returned. There were problems immediately. The system wasn’t letting him select the contract I wanted, etc. etc. To make a long and complicated story very short, the entire process took us 3 hours, with a failure of some sort at every step, between walking in the door and walking out the door, 15 minutes after the store closed, with the new iPhone. They only shipped four iPhones to that store and I bought the last one. Apparently there’s some attempt to play hard to get to build mystery or something. The stupid software required two surnames, as is the Spanish custom, so my phone bills will come to Erik Rasmussen Rasmussen. Awesome. Ras2!

iPhone Blog

With the flash, it looks really smudged, but the screen is crystal clear during use.

Happy iPhone 3G Owner

Needless to say, I’m in Apple geek heaven.

  • well after that story you must have been destined to have one…. i’ll be waiting… a long time i suspect… i love apple and have never used anything else, but i can’t believe how much the iphone costs by the time you’ve done the contract and everything (thanks for your other post with the breakdown on all of that here in spain btw!)…

  • Paul

    Congratulations, and welcome to club. I read this morning that WordPress has an iPhone App, but I haven’t seen it in the App Store. So far, I’ve limited my App downloads to those in the “Free” category 🙂

  • Paul, the email about your comment reached me while on my morning walk, so i’m replying from a park bench, just for the novelty of it. Very cool!

  • Congratulations, nerd. 🙂

    I expect exhaustive reviews of all the various good and bad things about this bit of technology. Don’t let me down.

  • I dunno, Jane. If there’s one product about which thousands upon thousands of lines have been written, it’s the iPhone. If I have a novel thought, I might write about it, but most every angle has already been covered.

    One quick anecdote, though… On my walk this morning, I did try out an app that should be called, “Dude, where’s my car?”, which does what you’d think it would. You press a button when you park (or in this test case, leave the house), and then later you say, “Dude, where’s my car!?”, and it draws a nice map back to the place where you first pressed the button. Even an inebriated retarded donkey has a better sense of orientation than I do, so this type of application is sure to benefit me greatly.

  • Man, that thing is good at scaling web pages. I’m going to have to see if I can get a ‘hands-on’ with one. I may just change my mind and buy one after all.

  • Yes, Ray. You can’t really judge an iPhone until you’ve held one in your hands and used its various features. After a few minutes of use, it’ll dawn on you, “Wait second! This isn’t a phone…it’s a computer!” Any web page that works in full blown Safari will work on the iPhone, javascript and all (minus flash as of this moment).

  • It’s absolutely adorable. And good on Apple for scooping up the inebriated retarded donkey market.

  • Brilliant! I’m sure all the trouble was worth it, and it makes for a great story. The last part, with the other guy thinking they only had the 16GB when what he wanted was 8GB, really had me laughing. You were lucky he hadn’t left yet. Hmmm, Rasmussen squared? That’s a new one. When they ask me for my second last name, I use my mother’s maiden name, since that’s how it’s usually done. I would have never thought of using the same name twice. Maybe it’s better, since mine is Osinga and everyone automatically writes Osinaga, which is a common last name here. Not that my other last name is any easier, but at least since it’s strange people pay attention. So, now you have internet everywhere you go? I guess that means you’ll be off to that tiny, tiny, tiny town in Extremadura in a few weeks after all, eh? I’m sure you’ll be the coolest guy in the whole town. 😉

  • The sales clerk actually said, “You can make your second last name whatever you want, like ‘caballo‘ or something.” I suggested “elefante“, but he took it as a joke and laughed. In retrospect, maybe something like “Erik Rasmussen Doesnthavetopaythisbill” might have been better.

  • Oh, I like that last one. 😀

  • “If thereÂ’s one product about which thousands upon thousands of lines have been written, itÂ’s the iPhone. If I have a novel thought, I might write about it, but most every angle has already been covered.”

    Yes, but I believe in my heart that if anyone can discover something not yet found and write a lively nerdy (and very probably multimedia) post about it, that person is you.

    No pressure.

  • Andrea R.

    Hi Erik –

    Do you happen to know if the iPhone 4 will work in Spain? My husband and I are moving to Madrid in April and I was wondering if I will be able to utilize it over there or if it would be better to buy a new phone after we arrive.

    Any insight/help would be greatly appreciated!


    • erik

      Mine works just fine. But you’ll need a data contract, and I don’t have any experience with getting a data contract without buying an iPhone. Telefónica (Movistar) and Orange are the only two iPhone-supported carriers, I think.